Australian health care company Prima BioMed Ltd (PRR) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Leipzig, Germany (Fraunhofer IZI) to produce Prima’s CVacTM cancer immunotherapy product for the Company’s European clinical trials.
Preparation for production of CVacTM for the European trial has already commenced, and Prima and the Fraunhofer IZI are working together to prepare the facility to support CVacTM clinical trials in Europe in early 2011. This represents a significant milestone on the pathway to commercialisation of CVacTM in the European market.
The agreement also allows Prima to be eligible for millions of Euros in R&D grants from the Saxony Bank (Sächische Aufbaubank – SAB). The SAB grants are intended to assist small companies in product development to achieve success, and would subsidise a significant part of Prima’s production cost for CvacTM. In addition the agreement with Fraunhofer provides a number of other key benefits to Prima. Fraunhofer is among the foremost R&D institutes in Europe and it has strong collaborative networks throughout academia, government, and industry. Fraunhofer will help enhance the visibility of the CVacTM clinical program in Europe and globally.
Prima Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director for Europe, Matthew Lehman said: “The Fraunhofer Institute is among the foremost research and development organisations in the world and Prima is delighted to enter into this collaborative arrangement. Prima values the strong research partnerships we have, including the well-known Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Burnet Research Institute, Stanford University and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre.”
Prima BioMed is focused on technologies in the fields of cancer immunotherapy and immunology. Prima’s lead product is the CVacTM ovarian cancer therapy treatment. It has completed two successful clinical trials and is progressing toward eventual commercialisation in the United States, Australia, Europe, and globally. The Company’s broader, long term goal is to develop commercial cancer treatment technologies and programs for global markets.
Fraunhofer IZI is a member of the Fraunhofer Life Sciences Alliance. Its objective is to find solutions to specific problems at the interface between medicine, life sciences and engineering for partners in medicine-related industries and businesses. The Institute’s core competencies are in regenerative medicine, specifically cell-therapeutic methods of regenerating non-functioning tissue and organs through to the biological substitution with tissue cultivated in vitro (tissue engineering). The Institute works especially closely with hospital institutions, performing quality tests and clinical studies on their behalf. It also provides assistance in obtaining manufacturing licenses and certifications.